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Advice For Protecting Your Valuables Abroad

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 6 Apr 2013 | comments*Discuss
Advice For Protecting Your Valuables Abroad

While you travel you will likely have less security for your valuables than you do at your own home. You may not be able to plan ahead for your security concerns, so if you have a truly irreplaceable item then leaving it at home may well be the best way to keep it safe. If you do decide to bring valuables with you, keep them on your person, keep them out of sight, keep them in any safe you deem appropriate and keep them covered if you must pack them away.

Keep Valuables on Your Person

When you are in a foreign environment it never hurts to keep your valuables close at hand. While it is not unheard of for pockets to be picked, at least you may be able to see, feel or intuit when a thief is targeting your person. If you leave valuables in your handbag, travel cases or accommodation you may not be able to keep as close an eye on them. Besides, thieves have been known to cut the straps or otherwise run off with women’s handbags and day packs and setting these items down while in a public restroom, dressing room or restaurant can offer good opportunities for others to run off with them. If possible keep your valuables in your front pockets or slip small items into your socks or bra. A money belt that you wear underneath your clothes will also provide you with secret space to stash your valuables.

Keep Valuables Out of Sight

Whether you take your valuables with you or leave them in your accommodation, keeping them out of sight is important for keeping them safe. When you are involved in outdoor activities such as sightseeing or sunbathing do not wear showy jewellery, flash your cash or make a production out of using your electronics. Also be discrete about your credit cards, travel tickets and passport as these items can be tempting to thieves as well. If you do leave your valuables in your accommodation be sure to take them out of sight of windows, off balconies and out of areas that are frequently cleaned such as the bathroom, sitting area or bedside tables. Remember, the less you leave lying around the less you’ll need to find and check on later.

Keep Valuables in a Safe

If your accommodation offers an in-room safe, use it for your valuables. Be sure to change the password to something you will remember, but avoid using words or numbers that are obvious or obviously attached to you. Do not enter dates such as your birthday, anniversary or travel dates. Store laptops, electronics, jewellery and travel documents in your safe, and consider keeping your prescription medicine there as well. If an in-room safe is not available, inquire if your accommodation offers a communal safe for guests’ use. If it does, satisfy yourself that it is well protected and that it can only be accessed by trusted members of staff. Some accommodation may also offer lockers for guest use. If you decide to use a locker then, again, find out who will have access to it and/or know the combination for it. Purchase a new lock, if possible, and keep the new combination to yourself.

Keep Valuables Covered in Luggage

If you can not travel with your valuables close at hand, try to keep them well covered in your luggage. Airports especially can leave your luggage vulnerable to being opened and inspected, so hide valuables underneath or inside your clothing and try to keep them well hidden by a few layers of other items. This is not to say that safety professionals will steal anything from your luggage, but if valuables are in plain sight others may get ideas. Avoid this by allowing only your most serviceable and boring items to remain at the top of your luggage.

When you travel you leave yourself and your valuables open to security concerns you may never think about at home. Keep your valuables safe by keeping them on your person, out of plain sight, in a safe and/or well covered inside of your luggage. Also make sure that your valuables are covered by your travel insurance or other insurance policies so that if they are taken you can file a claim and replace them as soon as possible.

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